There are few men who can say they are 100% healthy at the age of 48. Bernard Hopkins claims to be one of them. While talking to a group of media at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn to promote his upcoming fight this weekend against IBF Light Heavyweight champion Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud the main sentiment he was focused on getting across was how different his made him.
Cloud, a younger fighter who Hopkins’ own trainer Nazim Richardson called, “a monster” is coming off a split decision victory over Gabriel Campillo that Richardson says was a fluke “Cloud underestimated Campillo…we are going to see a better Cloud than we have ever seen.” Richardson seemed confident that Cloud was not going to take Hopkins lightly.
As Hopkins spoke like what sounded like a candidate running for a victory rather than a fighter planning for one he mentioned that he is going into this fight in tiptop shape. Coming back from an injury that his doctors said would retire athletes in other sports Hopkins took an 11-month lay off after his loss last April to Chad Dawson to heal his body. He implored, “You will have no reason to be surprised on March 9th…you are not going to see a new Bernard Hopkins, I’m too old for that crap but I am giving you a heads up that you don’t act surprised.”
When asked what he was going to do different Hopkins said that he was, “Going to avoid Clouds strength and expose his weakness,” making literary reference to Sun Tzu’s Art of War. “I’ve done it many times so I am capable of doing it again,” he continued. Hopkins seemed hell-bent on getting the message across that he is different. “To have the philosophy of being different is one thing…but to have the body is back it up is another.” Continuing on “I don’t know what it feels like to be 48…the average 48 year old guy is not Bernard Hopkins”. Before a brief tangent on how unhealthy Americans fuel the pharmaceutical industry he continues on to talk about being different, and how in this age doing it naturally is a whole other level. “Lance Armstrong pulled the wool over your eyes…I do it with nuts and bananas that I don’t grow but I trust that Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are organic…When I am around ordinary people I look different that is what makes me me and you not me.”